speech in European Parliament seminar for Urmia Lake: AZOH spokesman

(Basic part of speech)


Honourable members of the European parliament, Prof. Dr. Klaus Buchner, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), panel guests and audience,

My name is Amir Mardani and I’m here on behalf of Southern Azerbaijan Student Movement.

Today we heard and learned a lot about the Urmia lake issue and it was considered from different points of view.

I want to continue Discussion with some simple questions. Is this Issue just an environmental problem? Is there any political purpose in drying Lake Urmia? Is the governmental Negligence Premeditated or Inadvertently?

Let’s begin with looking again to dams Construction in the Urmia Lake area, more than 100 dams. July 1, 2014, Bultan news agency, Mr Hasan Abbasnejad the Chairman of the Regional Council catchment talked with papers: dams Construction is the most and first reason of drying Urmia. We built 52 dams, constructing 10, and 40 more is under study.

October 7, 2014, Isna agency, Ms Raziyeh Lak Director of Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration mentioned: after all researches we believe that Up to 20 thousand years the lake has not been threatened with a major drought. The lake is affected by human activities, which is mainly related to dams on the river.

on November 6, 2014 Mr Pirooz Hanachi Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development also on March 9, 2015 Mr Hamid Chitchian Energy Minister they Admitted in Iranian State TV that the problem is dams.

So it seems the government knows the reason for problem. But, are they trying to solve it?

Mr Hassan Rouhani the president of Iran has stated in his speeches that first project after being selected as a president would be Urmia lake issue.

Past year the government published that they would stop construction of new dams and would open the dams but they also complained of low budget.

In one case they got more than 2 million dollars from Japan in past two years. did they use it for lake? May 6, 2015 Mr Ghazipour Urmia representative in Parliament While criticism of the President asked: Where you really spend that money? If you spend it for lake why the water depth is reduced continually?

Government promised to open dams but for instance on September 5, 2015 Mr Isa Kalantari Secretary of the revival of lake talked in Iranian State TV: for example in Boukan dam we have more than 360 million litre and we need just 20 million but the government do not let us open the dam.

Question again, is the governmental Negligence Inadvertently?

When we talk about Urmia Lake we cannot condone atomic part of this puzzle. The issue of Lake Urmia is decidedly politicized, especially when taking into account the fact that the salt remaining from its drying up is incredibly rich in Uranium.

On the base of scientific research done in 1982, there is no doubt that the lake has a high concentration of natural Uranium. On the base of this report the left deposit, will contain about 600 Tons of natural Uranium, since this scientific paper has reported that the salty water of Urmia Lake had 19micro gram uranium per litre.

Each day almost 6000 tons of lake salts are transferring to facilities which we know addresses, and the regime uses them in atomic purposes.

So it is completely clear that Iran’s government wants and tries to dry Urmia Lake up.

Here we are encountered a few questions. Why this regime wants to do that? Is this problem specified to just Southern Azerbaijan or other parts of Iran have such this issue? If the answer is yes, which provinces of Iran?

By looking at similar cases inside Iran we can mention Hamoun Lake (In Balouchistan where the Baluchs are living) which has been entirely dried and Karoon River (in Ahwaz where Arabs are living) which is passing through the last moments of its life. What we understand from these similar experiences is that this so-called environmental problem just happens in non-Persian lands of Iran and it reveals that government are trying to destroy non Persian lands impalpable. Here is the modern scorched earth policy.

Iran's government, not just the Islamic republic also the Pahlavi regime both have imposed the worst policies against non-Persians. Consequently these nations (Turks, Arabs, Baluchs, Kurds, Turkmans, Lors) have struggled for years against these dictatorial regimes to reach their incontrovertible rights especially self determination to establish federal states in Iran.

During these years Iran's politicians have known well that the most intelligent method to stop national awareness is to eliminate non Persian lands from the map of Iran. In these circumstances people are forced to move to other cities and in the end there will be no ancestral land to fight for.

Meanwhile Iranian politicians continue the insult and humiliation as a mental torture and a part of assimilation policy.

The last case of this inhuman process has happened two weeks ago in one of the most viewed Iranian State TV program. The story tells that Turk children brush their teeth with toilet brush and their mouth smell..... The insolence was so severe that demonstrations were held in all Turk cities of Iran for several days. As usual so many people were arrested that we just know names of 136 by now and there is no news of their condition. After demonstrations the guards attacked on homes and in some cases when they couldn't find the intended person they arrested the whole family even a 3 years old girl.

As you know Iran's government ignored and even denied Urmia lake issue for years. In the beginning Azerbaijani Turks have tried to notify Iranians that if Urmia Lake dies not just Southern Azerbaijan but entirely Iran will be a desert. But we have never received any fraternal response from either government or others are living in country and during this time so many Azerbaijani activists are arrested just because they were concerned about their homeland.

After a long time the pressure against Iran's policies increased inside outside and after salty storms reached the capital city finally they accepted the Urmia lake issue, but this time they mention it as a just environmental problem.

This so called environmental issue is very similar to human rights problem and also the atomic problem. The atomic issue revealed that Iran's dictatorial regime accepts its faults and gives its inhuman activities up in just one case and that is when the countries, EU parliament, exert pressure on the government.

Unfortunately during these years we have not received an appropriate help and attention from other countries. We have been and are involved with various problems inside Iran that there is no time to talk about them. But regarding Urmia lake issue I want just state that drying Urmia lake will lead to migration of 15 million people which Europe will face with the implications and consequences.

As a conclusion I want to recall you that the final and only way to convince Iran's regime to solve Urmia lake problem is to force the government changing its policies against non-Persians. Exerting pressure on Iran to accept democracy, equality, legalizing mother language education and accepting self-determination as an undoubted right can change everything.

I have a dream, I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." Martin Luther King said.

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

Thank you!